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Student Profiles

Gabriella at the Piazzle Michaelangelo with an incredible view overlooking Florence.

Overseas Study Program

Florence,  Italy

Take every chance you have to do something new and something you have never done before! Say yes to (almost) everything and don’t waste a minute of your time abroad.”

Gabriella Vitulli

Major: Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management

Term Abroad: Spring 2015

Program: CAPA

Why did you choose this program? I chose this program because I knew I wanted to got to Florence and the program really struck a chord with me. It met all of my personal criteria for a study abroad program.

Describe your favorite class abroad. My favorite class was my Italian class. Although it was probably the most difficult one I took abroad, I really enjoyed learning the language as well as more about the culture. And then being able to practice in real life in Italy was incredibly rewarding.

What was the housing like on your study abroad program? I lived with three other girls in an apartment about a 20 minute walk from our school. There were two girls per room, a kitchen, 1.5 bathrooms, a living room and dining room.

What advice would you like to give to future study abroad students? Take every chance you have to do something new and something you have never done before! Say yes to (almost) everything and don't waste a minute of your time abroad.

What’s your best memory from your time abroad? That's tough. I would have to say that my best memory from being abroad would be my last night in Florence. After watching the sunset over the city at Piazza Michelangelo with all of my best friends, I just walked around the city, enjoying every last second I had left in the spectacular place I was lucky enough to call home for 4 months of my life.

What was your biggest surprise about the location, culture or other aspects of your program? How exhausting it all was. I wouldn't change a second of my experience or the way I spent my time, but the entire experience is very taxing and exhausting. It's like a 4-month-long marathon of doing, seeing and traveling.

Describe your experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock. I didn't really experience this, but I did know people who did - but they got past it and loved their experience.

“If I could do it over, I would…” If I could do it over, I would go to Greece. But not for the reason you think. The second to last weekend of my program, my roommates all planned a trip to Greece and of course invited me. I said no because I thought it was going to cost too much, be too exhausting, and whatever other excuses I could come up with. BIG MISTAKE. I said no when I really should've said yes.

What do you know now that you didn’t know before you went abroad? What I'm made of. Before going abroad I thought I was a pretty independent girl who knew how to take care of herself. I had NO idea. After being abroad I was able to realize what I'm made of and how much I can do for myself and others.

What do you wish someone had told you before you left? To not waste my time waiting to feel comfortable. At first, I was hesitant about a lot of things because it was uncomfortable. I now realize that was a complete waste of time!

What was your greatest challenge? Managing a budget while abroad.

Discuss: “Going abroad vs. staying on campus.” Some people say "I don't want to miss an entire semester of being at school!" when talking about the cons of studying abroad. And I think that's just silly. Going abroad, I was able to make the most incredible memories and ones that I will never forget and wouldn't trade them for a single thing. Campus is a blast and when I was abroad I did experience some "FOMO" (Fear Of Missing Out), but never did I want to give up my experiences to be back at school - 7 semesters there is enough.

What fact about your host country do you think people would be surprised to learn? Mostly everyone speaks english! Yay!

How did you find scholarships for study abroad? Looked on the website and applied.

Would you recommend other students pursue any specific scholarship opportunities? Yes! Why not? Studying abroad can be expensive, especially if you want to travel a lot. Scholarships help with that!